DODOMA-(MaraviPost)-An influential former government official has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in Tanzania, for robbing a businessman of more than US$1,200 (£870).

Lengai Ole Sabaya had served as a district commissioner in the Kilimanjaro region from 2018 until May this year, and was regarded as one of the more powerful administrators during late President John Magufuli’s time in power.

Ole Sabaya is also facing charges of embezzlement, terror and assault which are yet to be decided – all of which he denies. He says he was obeying orders from a superior authority but did not specify who.

On Thursday a court found Ole Sabaya and two other people guilty of armed robbery.

The court heard that the former politician was carrying a pistol when he entered a shop operated by the victim and demanded the money. His co-accused were also armed and waited outside the shop, the court was told.

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